Ebooks

Ebooks are great, but I’m not throwing out my bookshelf anytime soon. I think this is a sentiment echoed by rational people the whole globe over. And I don’t want to write a blog post about how great ebooks are or how they spell the end of the world for the book industry. Instead I’m going to talk about an ebook I made once and what I learnt from the process. Ha.

So, in 2011, I needed a bit of extra money to fund a trip overseas to visit my family. I decided to create and publish an ebook to sell online to help me raise the extra money I needed. In the process convinced myself I could now be called a published writer. Not bad for the ego. Anyway.

So the book I made was a recipe book. And instead of typing it up and adding in a few pictures, I decided to paint and hand draw/write the entire thing and then photoshop it all into a pdf document. PDF documents are really useful for ebooks because they’ll work on any ebook device (eg Kindle, Nook, smartphones) without having to reformat the book for each device it will be used on. The draw backs of making it in a pdf format include limited search function (especially because mine were all converted .jpegs and had no searchable text) and the inability to reformat it to suite particular devices.

Next, marketing and selling. I chose to set up a simple eshop on my own website and promote my book to my blog followers and through Twitter, Facebook and a few forums. It didn’t work very well for me due to the following combination:

  • Priced too high (no-one wants to pay $15 for an ebook these days, unless you’re a famous author and you can get away with it)
  • Not enough blog followers/twitter followers
  • Didn’t build blog following to the right niche of customers
  • Didn’t really have a marketing strategy in place, just sort of winged it.

Any of these factors alone might not have impacted sales so much, but all together and I was destined for a bit of a flop. But that’s okay, I learnt from the whole experience! Next time it might be worth investing in multiple file formats and an account on Amazon from which to launch the book as well.

I’d like to make another ebook sometime next year but as yet I’m not sure what I’d like to make. Perhaps a follow up recipe book, perhaps something entirely different. But I know that if I do make one, I’ll be able to apply the lessons learnt from my last foray into the world of ebooks and self publishing, to create a better, more successful product.

Oh, and if you want a copy of the book, I’ll let you have it for free(!), just click here.

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